Atrial Fibrillation Treatment Cost in India

Last Modified: November 21, 2019  |   Created on: November 21, 2019
Heart
Atrial fibrillation treatment cost in India is much less than other countries that make use of similar technology, experienced manpower and skills.
Atrial-Fibrillation

The cost of atrial fibrillation treatment in India is dependent on several factors. First, it depends on the course of treatment followed by the doctor. For example, whether the doctor decides to treat the condition with the help of medications and surgery or medications alone decides the total cost of atrial fibrillation treatment in India.

The cost can depend on several factors:

  • Treatment procedure
  • Technology used
  • Severity of defect
  • Location
  • Pre and aftercare
  • Services included

Second, it depends on the number of days that a patient is made to stay in the hospital until he is stable enough to be transferred back to his or her country.

Among other factors, the number of diagnostic tests required before, during and after the treatment, the fees of the surgeon and the doctor, the bed charges and hospital charges are some of the factors that determine the overall cost of atrial fibrillation treatment package in India.

Even when all these factors are considered, the atrial fibrillation treatment cost in India is believed to be at least 50 to 80 percent less than what it costs in other countries. This is the reason why patients from countries such as the US, UK, Canada, Russia, Dubai, and other Arab nations come to India for medical treatment.

In fact, the cost of the treatment proves to be highly reasonable even in the best hospitals for atrial fibrillation treatment in India. These hospitals are equipped with all the modern technology used to conduct highly successful surgical and medical treatment.

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Atrial Fibrillation Treatment in India

Atrial fibrillation treatment in India is recommended to patients who experience irregular or abnormal beating of the heart or heart rhythm. The irregularity in heartbeat resulting due to abnormal twitching of the heart muscles is a type of arrhythmia. The heart of an individual suffering from atrial fibrillation either beats too fast, too slow or has abnormal breathing. The condition derived its name from the “fibrillating” movement of the heart muscles instead of normal, coordinated movement of the muscles.

Atrial fibrillation treatment is conducted by some of the most experienced and best cardiac surgeons in India. These cardiac surgeons are fully equipped with the knowledge to conduct all types of treatments for arrhythmias, including atrial fibrillation. The treatment for atrial fibrillation treatment in India is conducted after a thorough diagnosis and evaluation by a cardiologist. Once the disorder is confirmed, the patient is referred to a cardiovascular surgeon, who works in close collaboration with a cardiologist to treat the patient.

There are several best hospitals for atrial fibrillation treatment in India. These hospitals are located in the key metropolitan and other cities that are well-connected with all major countries through direct flights. Some of these cities that possess the best atrial fibrillation treatment hospitals in India include Delhi, Mumbai, Goa, Chennai. Hyderabad, Bangalore, and Gurgaon. Apart from low atrial fibrillation treatment cost in India, patients prefer to come to the country for treatment of arrhythmias because of the better quality of treatment, availability of highly experienced doctors and no waiting time for treatment, among other reasons.

Over the period of the last few years, India has emerged as one of the favorite countries for medical treatment. There are several factors that have put India at the top position, including low cost of medical treatment, high quality of treatment and better availability of doctors.

Causes of Atrial Fibrillation

The entire beating of the heart is a type of electrical activity. An abnormality or a problem in the conductivity of electrical impulses is the main reason behind atrial fibrillation or irregular heart beating.

The electrical conducting system may get impacted because of many reasons. For example, it can get affected by conditions such as coronary artery disease (CAD), which is characterized by the deposition of certain material in the arterial wall leading to its narrowing. High blood pressure that disrupts the coordination between the different chambers of the heart is also known to cause atrial fibrillation.

Apart from cardiac reasons, people who show no symptoms of a cardiac condition may also get affected. For example, pneumonia, hypothyroidism, viral infection, chronic lung disease, hyperthyroidism, and pulmonary embolism are also known to cause arrhythmias.

Symptoms of Atrial Fibrillation

The following are some of the main symptoms of atrial fibrillation:

  • Heart palpitations
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Lack of energy leading to fatigue
  • Dizziness and chest pain

Increasing age, pericarditis, coronary heart disease, and rheumatic heart disease are some of the risk factors for atrial fibrillation.

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Atrial Fibrillation: Diagnosis and Treatment in India

It may not be easy for a patient to diagnose atrial fibrillation symptoms by himself or herself. The condition can only be diagnosed after conducting a series of physical and diagnostic exams such as an electrocardiogram. A doctor may order a few additional tests to confirm the atrial fibrillation diagnosis. It may include electrophysiologic tests, echocardiography, and blood tests. The blood tests specifically look at the levels of the thyroid gland and the functioning of the gland, since it may lead to atrial fibrillation.

Treatment options for atrial fibrillation include the use of medications and surgery. Based on the condition of the patient, the doctor may decide to either prescribe a few medicines to control the underlying condition or conduct surgery to place a pacemaker to control the rhythm of the heart, among other reasons. The following are the two major treatment options used to correct atrial fibrillation:

Medications

The doctors may prescribe any of the following three types of medications to correct the condition:

  • Anti-arrhythmic drugs: These medications are prescribed to the patients so that the rhythm of their heart can return back to normal. There are several types of drugs that fall under this category, including sotalol, dofetilide and flecainide acetate. The patient may be required to stay in the hospital after getting a dose of these drugs so that the rhythm can be monitored carefully for any abnormality and corrections further needed.
  • Rate control drugs: These types of drugs are administered to control the heart rate. These specifically work on the ventricles and prevent them from beating too fast. Some of the examples of such drugs include digoxin, beta-blockers, and calcium channel blockers.
  • Anticoagulants: This category of medications work by reducing the risk of blood clots that can potentially cause atrial fibrillation. Warfarin and coumadin are two examples of such medications and the patient is required to undergo a few blood tests during drug therapy to assess its effectiveness.

Surgery

When a patient cannot be administered medications because of some reason or when they do not work as effectively as predicted, then surgery may be required to control or correct atrial fibrillation. There are several types of surgeries that are used to treat atrial fibrillation. The doctor may choose among them according to the need and conditions of the patient.

  • Surgical Procedures

    • Pacemaker implantation: A pacemaker is a special device used to alter the rhythm of the heart. It is an electrical device that is placed under the skin of the patient and monitors the heart rate. In case the heart rate is too slow, it sends electrical impulses to the walls of the heart and makes it beat. Thus, the electrical impulses sent by the pacemaker helps keep the normal rhythm of the heart.
    • Catheter ablation: This procedure is used to destroy the weak area of the heart that may be resulting in its abnormal beating. This is a highly specialized procedure conducted only by an experienced surgeon.
    • Electrical cardioversion: This procedure involved giving a minor, controlled electrical shock to the heart muscles to alter its rate. The patient is carefully monitored during and after the procedure to check the heart rate.
    • AV node ablation: During this procedure, a catheter is carefully inserted through the vein in the groin region to finally reach up to the AV node. Radiofrequency energy is then used to destroy the AV node, which prevents the transmission of signals from the atrium to the ventricle. This is a permanent procedure and as a result, the patient requires a permanent pacemaker device following the surgery.
  • Surgical Treatment

    Major surgery is prescribed for patients with abnormal heart rhythm that has not been unsuccessfully treated with either catheter ablation or medications. In addition, it is conducted in patients with a history of stroke, enlarged atrium or blood clots in the atrium.

    The surgical procedure is known as the Maze procedure. During this procedure, several small incisions are made to define a pathway for the electrical impulses to reach the AV node. Thus, the impulses are used to prevent the impulses from affecting the atria, leading to atrial fibrillation.

    This procedure can be conducted in the traditional manner through open surgery or with the help of newer technology such as cryothermy, ultrasound, laser, radiofrequency or microwave radiation. The procedure can also be performed in a minimally invasive manner with the help of keyhole surgery. In other cases where atrial fibrillation results because of other cardiac conditions, surgery may be conducted to treat that particular disorder. This will eventually rectify atrial fibrillation.

Dr. Suneet Singh

Written By Dr. Suneet Singh

Dr. Suneet is a doctor-turned-Hospital Administrator with a rich 12 years plus multi-faceted experience in the field of operations management, Corporate and Public Health Administration. Formerly a practicing doctor, Dr. Suneet holds a post-graduate degree in Hospital and Healthcare management from one of the country's esteemed Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS)

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